Business Scene

Ofakim is not exactly on the beaten track of big business, but that didn't stop a group of major league business players from showing up in the southern development town for the grand opening of the 39th branch of Shefa Shuk.

trio biz scene 88 298 (photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
trio biz scene 88 298
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
JERUSALEM VENTURE Partners founder and managing partner Erel Margalit, 45, has been appointed chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. The surprise appointment was announced last week by Eitan Cabel, the government minister responsible for the IBA. Margalit, who is involved in a number of social and community welfare projects in Jerusalem, has been tipped to be the city's next mayor though he has not yet thrown his cap into the ring. He was the first Israeli venture capitalist to be included in the prestigious Forbes Midas List, ranking 59th in 2004, 48th in 2005 and 88th this year. The ailing Broadcasting Authority, with a tradition of groaning deficits, needs someone with Margalit's proven abilities to turn it around and put it back on track. Whether Margalit, the enthusiastic achiever, can meet this challenge with the same brand of success that he has displayed elsewhere still remains to be seen. FINANCE MINISTRY director-general Dr. Yossi Bachar will be the guest of honor of the Federation of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce, which is celebrating the launch of the Israel-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place on Thursday at the Carlton Hotel, Tel Aviv. Also attending will be First International Bank managing director David Granot and chairman of the Bi-National Chambers of Commerce Amnon Dotan who will report on what led to the establishment, following the request of the Vietnam Ambassador, of the new chamber. Today, there are 45 bi-national chambers of commerce operating in Israel. THE ISRAEL-FRANCE Chamber of Commerce has appointed Hamutal Anski as its director. Until recently, Anski was responsible for communications and events in the cultural cooperation division of the French Embassy. Anski previously worked in the Defense Ministry as a coordinator of academic material of a political nature. A certified teacher and a graduate of the Hebrew University, she majored in Political Science and French Culture and Literature. TWO NEW buildings were inaugurated this week at the Netanya Academic College. The Tshuva Auditorium was built with funds contributed by business tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva who has been a faithful and generous supporter of the College since its inception. Also inaugurated, was Beit Margot and Ernst Hamburger to honor the parents of Gideon and Yair Hamburger who head the Harel Insurance Group. The two buildings and other significant projects were inaugurated in the presence of members of the College's Board of Governors who also witnessed the conferment of honorary degrees on Israel's Ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman for his courageous stand against Iranian nuclear capability; Rabbi Elimelech Firer, for the help he has given to literally thousands of sick people who may not have been cured without his extraordinary connections in the medical world; and Delek Group Chairman Gabi Last for his contribution to the economy in general and the college in particular. OFAKIM IS not exactly on the beaten track of big business, but that didn't stop a group of major league business players from showing up in the southern development town for the grand opening of the 39th branch of Shefa Shuk. Mingling with the locals who crowded into the store were Blue Square proprietor Matthew Bronfman and his partner Shulem Fisher, Bank Discount chairman Shlomo Zohar and Shefa Shuk managing director Yehuda Porat. Aware that Bronfman is also a major shareholder in Bank Discount, some of the locals suggested that Discount open a branch in Ofakim. Bronfman, whose Hebrew, is limited did not quite understand but smiled politely. Shlomo Zohar did get the message and also smiled. Who knows - Ofakim means horizons, a factor that might impact on the powers that be at Bank Discount. CLAL CREDIT, a division of Clal Insurance, has named Yair Kaplan as general manager of its business credit department. Kaplan, 35, has a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration as well as an MBA. He was previously a deputy manager with Citibank and before that held managerial positions in Citibank's financial institutions sector. Prior to joining Citibank, he was a deputy licensing supervisor at the Bank of Israel. AFTER 11 years as deputy manager of Mizrahi-Tfahot Switzerland, Zvi Zacharias, who has been applauded for his work in building up the bank's image and business in Switzerland, is stepping down. He will be replaced by Kuti Mansdorf who will take up his new post in October. Meanwhile, Mansdorf will serve as an interim manager of human resources and administration in place of Shaul Gelbard who was recently appointed to head the business division of the bank. BARKAN WINERIES joint managing directors Yair Lerner and Shmuel Boxer have announced a new marketing strategy to introduce 500 ml bottles of wine into restaurants and hotels with the aim of boosting sales. Israelis have become increasingly accustomed to drinking wine with their meals but balk at paying for a regular bottle, which usually costs in excess of NIS 100. The new size, which holds three glasses, will enable restaurateurs to sell bottles for less than NIS 100 and will provide a perfect solution for a couple, allowing each to top up their drink without spending more than they intended and without getting more alcohol in their bloodstreams than is legally acceptable for drivers of motorized vehicles.